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THE TRIAL OF THOMAS WADE CARTER A “Mock Trial” simulating the flow of a criminal trial.

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Presentation on theme: "THE TRIAL OF THOMAS WADE CARTER A “Mock Trial” simulating the flow of a criminal trial."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE TRIAL OF THOMAS WADE CARTER A “Mock Trial” simulating the flow of a criminal trial

2 The Criminal Justice Case Guide INVESTIGATION & ARREST - Incident - Warrant - Arrest INVESTIGATION & ARREST - Incident - Warrant - Arrest PRETRIAL - First Court Appearance - Probable Cause Hearing— Indictment or Information - Arraignment - Pretrial Motions PRETRIAL - First Court Appearance - Probable Cause Hearing— Indictment or Information - Arraignment - Pretrial Motions TRIAL -Jury Selection - Opening Statement - Presenting Evidence - Closing Arguments - Instructions to the Jurors - Jury Deliberation - Verdict TRIAL -Jury Selection - Opening Statement - Presenting Evidence - Closing Arguments - Instructions to the Jurors - Jury Deliberation - Verdict POST TRIAL -Sentencing Hearing - Post-trial Motions - Appeals to Higher Courts POST TRIAL -Sentencing Hearing - Post-trial Motions - Appeals to Higher Courts

3 Investigation & Arrest Arrest: taking a criminal suspect into custody to charge the suspect with a crime An arrest must be based on probable cause and must include a - valid warrant OR - 4 th Amendment Exception ASSIGNMENT: Read the Police Crime Investigation Report on page *Take notes on Port # ____

4 FOR DISCUSSION:  To arrest Evans, Lt. Jackson must have had probable cause. Probable cause means that the officer has enough evidence to cause a reasonable person to believe that a crime was committed and that the suspect committed it.  Murder is often defined as the unlawful killing of another human being with “malice aforethought”.  QUESTION: What evidence did Lt. Jackson have that might give him probable cause to arrest Evans on a charge of murder? Explain  QUESTION: According to the information gathered by Lt. Jackson, do we know for sure what happened inside the Pontiac at the moment the gun was fired? What else could have happened? What are some other ways the shooting could have taken place?

5 STATE CRIMINAL CODE  Section 274: Degrees of Murder  Any killing committed with malice aforethought  First Degree  All killings that are premeditated  Second Degree  All others with malice aforethought  Section 298: Manslaughter  Killings without malice aforethought  Voluntary Manslaughter  All intentional killings committed as a result of serious provocation or extreme anger  Involuntary Manslaughter  All unintentional killings that are a direct result of committing:  Any dangerous or unlawful act  Any lawful act in an extremely careless manner

6 Two sides to every story… Thomas Carter exercised his Miranda rights and remained silent until his parents hired a private attorney, Susan Jaffee, to represent him. First thing she did was interview her client and asked to hear his story… ASSIGNMENT: Read Carter’s Story on page and TAKE NOTES, then read How It Looks to Evans’ Attorney on pg. 128, last TAKE NOTES on Carter’s File/Background

7 PRETRIAL (PORT. #31)  First Appearance Before a Judge  Purpose: Know their rights & not abused by authorities  Some states hrs. others “without necessary delay”  Typical Procedure:  Informs arrestee of the charges  Informs arrestee of right to counsel  Provided if can’t afford  Determines Bail  Misdemeanors: Set by state law  Felonies: Judge must either  A. Fix amount of bail  B. Release w/o bail  C. Deny Bail

8 BAIL (PORT #31)  Released pending trial two ways:  Bail: Money given to court as a promise to come to trial  10% of bail total must be posted  Bail Bonds  Own recognizance  Usually for non-violent or minor crimes  Criteria for setting Bail  The Crime  Past records of the accused  Likelihood that the defendant will remain in state & appear in court

9 CLASS ACTIVITY: BAIL HEARING  You will be role playing the bail hearing in the Carter case…  We will divide into three groups with 1/3 of the class playing each of the following parts:  Prosecuting Attorneys: GOAL…make sure Carter shows up for trial  Defense Attorneys: GOAL…Persuade the judge to have as low of a bail as possible  Judges: Listen to lawyers, ASK QUESTIONS and make BEST decision (also…must jot down arguments of both & your decision to be turned in for “group grade”)  You will get a number and be assigned a group. As a big group, read you individual instructions and devise a strategy  In 5-10 mins we will break up into smaller groups w/ one prosecuting attorney, one defense attorney, and one judge to role play the hearing

10 BAIL ACTIVITY DISCUSSION:  What were the judges decisions? Why?  Do you agree that bail should sometimes be denied and an accused person held in custody? Explain. If you agree, under what circumstances should judges be allowed to deny bail? Why?  The American criminal trial system is based on the notion that all people are considered innocent until proven guilty. Do you think the idea of bail runs contrary to this concept? Why or why not?

11 PROSECUTORIAL REVIEW  After an arrest prosecutors reviews case to decide what crime should be charged  Prosecutorial Discretion  By individuals or teams  Factors in exercising discretion  Prosecute if after investigation…  Crime has been committed  Identify person who committed it  Have evidence that supports a guilty verdict

12 CLASS ACTIVITY:  In groups of three you will be playing the roles of prosecuting attorney’s assigned to prosecutorial review of the Thomas Carter case.  Review the following materials:  Police Crime Investigation Report (Portfolio #32)  State Criminal Code (Portfolio #32)  “What Should the Charge Be?” Handout  As a group, answer the questions on the handout and be prepared to turn in and discuss as a class. You will need to choose one individual from the group to write your group’s answers.

13 CLASS DISCUSSION:  In your own words, what is prosecutorial discretion? What are its advantages and disadvantages?  Review the factors in exercising prosecutorial discretion, which do you think are valid? Which, if any, don’t you think should be used? Why?  What is the doctrine of transferred intent? How does it apply to the Carter case?  What might Prosecutor Stein think that the facts do not support pre- meditation or transferred intent?  Why did Prosecutor Stein argue against a charge of voluntary manslaughter? Explain  What additional evidence, if any, do the prosecutors need to make a decision?

14 PLEA BARGAINING  Substitute Day: Reading Assignment over Plea Bargaining & rest of the pre-trial information.

15 TYPICAL COURTROOM

16 CAST OF CHARACTERS  Judge: Presides over the trial. Rules over all motions made by attorneys, on admissibility of evidence or testimony, and procedure during and after trial. Decides sentencing (minus death penalty)  Bailiff: Deputy sheriff or some other law enforcement officer  Jobs include keeping order, protect jury from outside influence, assist court clerk with ceremonial duties  Court Clerk: Administrative assistant to judge  Keep track of proceedings, catalogs and takes custody of evidence, prepares all written orders of the court, administers oaths, calls jurors for selection

17 CAST OF CHARACTERS CONT.  Court Reporter: Records ALL words spoken in the court room  Prosecuting & Defense Lawyers: Already discussed in detail  Defendant: Person accused of the crime, helps defense attorneys in presenting the case and accepts decision of the jury  Police Officers: Help prosecutors prepare for the case and often testify as witnesses.  Witnesses: Called to tell what they KNOW about case under oath. Only things you saw or heard. Can call in expert witnesses to give opinions  Jury: 12 adult citizens from community asked to decide a verdict.

18 JURY SELECTION  Selected at random  Picked from voter registration or DMV  12 picked for voir dire  Questions by attorneys and judge  Judge starts by telling of charges and asking basic questions of jurors (age, occupation, previous jury duty, etc)  Looks for reasons to dismiss juror for bias (ex: has been victim of similar crime)  Also excused if financially unable

19 JURY SELECTION  After judge, attorneys get chance to question in greater depth  Attorney’s can raise challenges  Challenge for Cause  Does not meet legal requirement or is biased  Judge decides if it is legit  Unlimited Challenge for Cause  Peremptory Challenge  Needs not explanation from attorney  Only a limited number of challenges

20 JURY SELECTION  Voir Dire continues until 12 jurors and alternates have been agreed upon  Process can take LONG time depending on publicity of case  Once decided it is impaneled or made official  They swear to make an impartial decision based on evidence

21 JURY SELECTION ACTIVITY  In this activity, students will simulate the jury selection for the Thomas Evans trial. In pairs you will brainstorm two voir dire questions for 14 prospective jurors. Half of the class will be brainstorming from the perspective of the defense and the other half will be doing the same for the prosecution.  After brainstorming you will pair up with an opposite group and attempt to settle on 10 jurors for the case.  All questions and a final list of 10 jurors will be submitted in your portfolio for a grade.

22 DIRECT VS. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE  Jury must base its verdict on evidence admitted at trial  Testimony by witness, documents, drawings, physical objects, etc  Direct Evidence is evidence of one or more of the elements of the crime  Circumstantial Evidence indirectly supports one or more elements of a crime. Requires an inference  Can be used as both direct & circumstantial

23 EXAMPLES  Suzanne is charged with resisting arrest. Officer Monroe testifies that the defendant hit him with her briefcase after he had stopped her on the highway for speeding.  Charles is on trial for vandalism. An expert testifies that the color and composition of the paint found on the school building is identical to that of a can of paint found in Charles’ book bag.  Jennifer is on trial for the burglary of a local record shop. Mrs. Ramirez testifies that she saw Jennifer’s car parked outside the record shop at the time the burglary is believed to have taken place.  Jeff is charged with the sale of marijuana. An undercover narcotics agent testifies that Jeff handed him a large bag of marijuana and took 2,000 in cash from him.  Danny is on trial for kidnapping a 2-year-old girl. Ms. Joseph, Danny’s landlady, testifies that she saw Danny loading an unusually large bundle covered with a sheet into his car just minutes after the crime was reported by the victim’s parents.

24 TRIAL NOTES  Thomas Carter will face two charges  Second Degree Murder  Voluntary Manslaughter  Today you will use the chart (see handout) to analyze evidence from statements given from 6 witnesses (see handouts)

25 WRITING AN OPENING STATEMENT  To prepare an opening statement, attorneys must organize and outline the entire case they intend to prove in trial. A good opening statement should :  Explain what the attorney plans to prove and how the attorney will do it.  Present the events of the case in a clear, orderly sequence.  Suggest a motive or emphasize a lack of motive for the crime.  Attorneys usually begin their statement with a formal introduction:  “You honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, opposing counsel, my name is (full name), representing the {people of (name of the state)-or-defendant Thomas Carter} in this action.”  Opening statements often include such phrases as:  The evidence will show that…  The facts will prove that…  Witness {name} will be called to testify that…

26 OPENING STATEMENT ASSIGNMENT  Each of you will be writing an opening statement for the Carter case. Half of you will be assigned to the prosecution and half of you will be assigned to the defense.  This assignment WILL BE a homework assignment.  Use the guidelines from the previous slide to help you format your argument  REQUIREMENTS:  Minimum one FULL page typed (double spaced) or 1 ½ page hand written. These will be due on Thursday.

27 RULES OF EVIDENCE  Rules dictate when and how evidence can be presented in court  Ensure trial will be fair & orderly  Judges can make objections but usually come from attorneys  Better a lawyer knows the rules the greater the advantage

28 RELEVANCE  Has to relevant to issue in case  Ex: Convicting robber & asking if they speak French  If value is outweighed by other considerations it could not be admissible  Prior convictions, confusing to jury  “Objection, your honor. This evidence is not relevant to the issues of this case.”

29 FOUNDATION  There must be a proper foundation before a witness can testify to specific info  Ex: Asking someone if they saw defendant leave the scene of the robbery  Must show that he was there FIRST  “Objection, your honor. There is a lack of foundation.”

30 PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE  Witness must have personal knowledge about what they are testifying about.  Ex: Testifying Garrett is a bad driver when I’ve never seen him drive.  “I object your honor, due to a lack of personal knowledge on the subject matter.”

31 HEARSAY  Witness cannot provide second hand statements about an event.  Something you’ve “heard” and then “said”  Ex: “Luke told me that Trey said he saw her do it.”  Hearsay can be tricky…  “Luke told me he was going to steal…” Hearsay??

32 OPINION TESTIMONY  ONLY experts with special knowledge and qualification can give opinion testimonies  Psychologists, Forensics, etc  All witnesses can give opinions about things like color, size, weight, drunkenness, etc.  “Objection your honor, the witness is giving an opinion.”

33 ARGUMENTATIVE QUESTIONS  Only asked questions to get facts.  Questions challenging witnesses to reconcile parts of testimony may be objected  Ex: How can you expect the court to believe you were there when you previously stated you weren’t?  “Objection, your honor. The Counsel is badgering my witness.”

34 RULES OF DIRECT EXAMINATION  Direct Examination = your OWN witnesses  Ask questions that evoke a short narrative from the witness  CANNOT ask leading questions  Usually elicits “yes” or “no” answer  Ex: Mr. Robertson, when did you and your wife adopt Clyde?  NO: Mr. Robertson, you and your wife adopted Clyde two years ago, correct?  Character  Unless character is at issue, witnesses cannot testify about a person’s character.  Defense can try to show good character but then prosecution’s door is open to show poor character.  Refreshing Recollections  Can help witness to remember details by showing them their statements made at the time.

35 RULES OF CROSS EXAMINATION  Cross Examination = their witnesses  Allows for an opportunity to attack witness credibility  Leading Questions ARE acceptable  Questions limited to matters that were brought up on direct examination  How to attack credibility  Bias or prejudice, accuracy, consistency, prior convictions, etc  CAN be re-directed by their attorneys to limit the damage.

36 CLASS ACTIVITY: OBJECTIONS  Karen Miller testifies: “I am convinced my little girl was intentionally killed by the Evans boy.”  Joel Robertson testifies: “A friend of mine said he saw Oscar hit Tom over the head with a beer bottle.”  The prosecutor asks Gail Duran: “What kind of potato chips did you serve at your party?”  Karen Miller testifies: “I told the police officer that I thought whoever shot Joyce was on drugs.”  On cross-examination, the attorney asks Gail Duran: “You didn’t stop the car when you heard the explosion behind you, did you?”  Joel Robertson testifies: “If you ask me, a shotgun is effective up to about 20 yards.”

37 CLASS ACTIVITY: OBJECTIONS  Karen Miller testifies: “Joyce was shot with a 12-gauge shotgun.”  Joel Robertson testifies: “Oscar Hanks always parks his truck across the street from his house. It must have been there that day when Joyce Miller was shot.”  Lt. Tony Jackson of the police department testifies: “We know that Tom Evans had connections with drug dealers in the area.”  One of the guests from Gail Duran’s party testifies: “Tom Evans told me after the fight that he was going to fix Oscar Hanks once and for all.”  A neighbor of Karen Miller states that a car with a gun sticking out of the back window drove by at about 15 miles per hour.  On direct examination, Evans’ attorney asks him: “You never attended to shoot anyone, did you?”

38 THE CLOSING STATEMENT  After both sides examine witnesses they get final chance to summarize their argument, review testimonies, and convince the jury to their case.  Effective closing statements should:  Be emotionally charged and strongly appealing (unlike the calm, rational opening statement).  Only refer to evidence that was admitted during the trial.  Emphasize the facts that support the claims of your side.  Note weakness of inconsistencies in the opposing side’s case.  Summarize the favorable testimony.  Attempt to reconcile inconsistencies that might hurt your side.  Be presented so that notes are barely necessary.  Be well-organized (starting and ending with your strongest point helps to structure the presentation and give you a good introduction and conclusion.)  Focus on reasonable doubt. The prosecution should emphasize that the state has proved the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense should rasie questions suggesting that reasonable doubt exists.

39 THE CLOSING STATEMENT  Proper phrasing includes:  “The evidence has clearly shown that…”  “Based on this testimony, there can be no doubt that…”  “The prosecution has failed to prove that…”  “The defense would have you believe…”  Conclude with an appeal to convict or acquit the defendant.


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